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We are now in our 2nd year of officially homeschooling our boys, which means full time of the stuff we did around the edges of their ‘normal’ education at public school. We love the unknown and the ‘around the edges’ stuff like family bike rides, traveling, and art all day, and have always found places like Kahn Academy and Skillshare, to be grounding companions. With so many students of the world currently homeschooling, or hodge-podge schooling via Zoom and Flipgrid (like we are!), we have decided (thanks Silas!) to unearth a Peg and Awl project that will eventually make its way into a notebook, and have turned it into a free downloadable PDF: Specimen Cards! We love to encourage movement, getting outside, observing, drawing, writing, and research. These cards cover all of that – be it a Citizen Science Project, backyard explorations, or for identifying mysterious objects around the house.

Download the Printable PDF

Specimen Cards by Peg and Awl
Silas with a Specimen Card | Peg and Awl Specimen Cards by Peg and Awl

“I think perhaps I am one of those lucky mortals whose work and whose life are the same thing.”

Kent Family Portrait 

I wanted to share a little of our home schooling journey here!

This is an interview from Søren and Silas’s home education co-op Open Connections. As life and work are always intertwined for us, it seemed reasonable to share:)

Click below to read the full interview!

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As I sit here trying to put words on the screen, I hear Søren and Silas discussing the difference between the Union and Confederate uniforms. It is 10:40am on Sunday morning and already our day has been so full. (Though our bellies remain empty.)

I dream often, of escaping the constant chaos and duties of our current lives to explore the world with my fellows. This would mean taking them out of school, eliminating the familiar, abandoning systems, saying farewell to family and friends and making the most of the unknown. What a friggin' dream. 

Until then, I neglect my duties - the laundry (clean since Monday) that needs folding, a house that needs a thorough going-over, boys that need bathing and piles and piles of Peg and Awl lists that need conquered. This morning the boys awoke with projects on their minds which included testing out the already blackened scratchpaper and cutting out and putting together articulated armies of soldiers and monsters from a Figures in Motion book we picked up in Gettysburg. 

Together the boys and I searched the house for tools to scratch with. I flipped through books for inspiration as Silas chanted the Star Wars theme song. Though our 'things to scratch with' were a little rusty and limited, the boys figured out how to make different marks on the paper, which was our goal. We also found brass fasteners and put some bodies together...



 Of course my favourite part was when Søren held up his Transformation of History...

Vampire Lincoln and Ghostly Barton:

Here is some of our inspiration - varied, though I must confess, a bit on the (usual) gloomy side.

No. 1: Edward Gorey

No matter the project, Edward Gorey is up for discussion. His work always connects to what we do and in this case we were exploring the variety of marks that he used to fill leach page with texture and tale.



No. 2 Heironymus Bosch

Another favourite, this time H.B. was great for showing how to load up a page with characters and monsters not in a straight line. Søren, like Edward Gorey, tends to line his characters up, adding page after page as his army grows.


No. 3 Flashlight by Lizi Boyd

Such a fantastic book. There are so many little details that make this book wonderful. Here we look at the marks on the black background combined with the effect of the flashlight brightening everything in its path.  




When was it decided that bringing your kids to work was a bad idea? Separation in general seems to be a strange and unfortunate part of our culture.  At the Peg and Awl workshoppe, Søren and Silas, like Shop Kids all over the world, get to see people making things all day long.  Here they dive into piles o' trash and extract bits, confirming literally, as does Peg and Awl, the trash and treasure cliche.